Southwest Airlines travel delays: Breaking down the flight disruptions

CHICAGO (NewsNation Now) — Southwest Airways has canceled or delayed hundreds of flights, leaving prospects stranded after a weekend plagued with major service disruptions.

Greater than 1,900 flights had been canceled by the airline over the weekend, in line with the net tracker FlightAware. The Dallas-based airline blamed air site visitors management points and unhealthy climate for weekend “operational challenges” that resulted within the cancellations.

By late morning Monday, Southwest had canceled about 365 flights — 10% of its schedule for the day — and greater than 600 others had been delayed.

However what precisely is happening? Why did one of many nation’s greatest airways face such main delays, stranding hundreds of thousands? Right here’s what we all know:

What’s Southwest saying concerning the cancellations?

Southwest has blamed air site visitors management points and unhealthy climate for the “operational challenges” that resulted within the weekend cancellations.

Southwest issued a press release to NewsNation on Monday morning, saying that whereas the flight schedule was “nearer to regular,” they had been nonetheless navigating new climate and the repercussions of the weekend flight disruptions.

“Now we have a more in-depth to regular operation in the present day, navigating some new climate throughout our system. The weekend challenges had been not a results of Worker demonstrations. To recap the weekend cancellations, the unhealthy climate and ATC points in Florida, a big operation for us, on Friday evening created vital flight disruptions all through our community and we spent the weekend working to get better from the excessive variety of displaced Crews and plane. Though we now have some new climate in components of our system, in the present day’s operation has vastly improved from the weekend, with a a lot smaller variety of cancellations linked to our weekend restoration efforts.  We recognize our Buyer and Worker persistence as we labored to reset our schedule. 


What’s the Federal Aviation Administration saying?

The FAA, which supplies air site visitors management companies, took the weird step of pushing again towards Southwest’s clarification. 

The FAA said no air traffic staffing shortages had been reported since Friday however that some airways had been experiencing scheduling challenges resulting from plane and crews being misplaced.

Have COVID-19 vaccination insurance policies performed a job?

Southwest introduced final week that its workers should be absolutely vaccinated by Dec. 8 to maintain their jobs. Employees can ask to skip the photographs for medical or non secular causes.

Rumors circulated over the weekend that workers had staged a large “sickout” in protest of Southwest’s new coverage. Southwest disputed these rumors Monday morning.

Southwest had remained silent on the vaccination requirements even after President Joe Biden introduced his vaccine mandate order for federal contractors and enormous employers. United Airlines was the first major U.S. carrier to announce a vaccination requirement in August.

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What’s a sickout?

A sick out is an organized interval of sick depart taken by a bunch as a type of protest.

What are the unions saying concerning the vaccination rumors?

Because the scope of Southwest’s operational meltdown turned clear, the pilots’ union denied stories that pilots had been conducting a sickout or slowdown to protest the vaccine mandate. The Southwest Airlines Pilots Association stated it was “conscious of operational difficulties” nevertheless it “has not approved, and won’t condone, any job motion.”

The union supplied one other clarification for the delays: It stated Southwest’s operation “has turn into brittle and topic to huge failures beneath the slightest stress” due to an absence of assist from the corporate. The union complained concerning the “already strained relationship” between it and the corporate.

The union said last week it could file a short lived restraining order to cease Southwest from instituting the vaccine mandate.

The Affiliation of Skilled Flight Attendants, which represents greater than 24,000 of rival American Airways flight attendants, weighed in on the scenario.

“Whereas APFA believes vaccination is our greatest protection towards sickness or demise from COVID-19, we absolutely acknowledge that a few of our members have very sturdy considerations or beliefs relating to the COVID-19 vaccination,” APFA stated in a press release to NewsNation. “Whereas being vaccinated just isn’t open to negotiation with administration, we’ll make certain the corporate abides by the Government Orders and the relevant affordable lodging provisions.”

Produce other airways canceled flights?

Southwest was the one airline to report delay points on a serious scale.

What was the climate like?

A severe weather system hit Oklahoma late Sunday night, bringing heavy rain, lightning and wind to components of Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri and Texas.

Has Southwest canceled flights like this earlier than?

Southwest had struggled all summer time with excessive numbers of delayed and canceled flights. In August, it introduced it was trimming its September schedule by 27 flights a day, or lower than 1%, and 162 flights a day, or 4.5% of the schedule, from early October via Nov. 5.

This story is creating. Refresh for updates.

The Related Press contributed to this report. | Southwest Airways journey delays: Breaking down the flight disruptions

Huynh Nguyen

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